The human body comes equipped with dozens of features for survival, many of which kick in automatically when the need arises. There are defenses against hypothermia, blood loss, poisoning and many other scary situations, but few things are as complex as the body’s reactions to a lack of food and water. Here’s how your body fights back when you have to do without.
GO WITHOUT WATER
With our sweating and dilute urine, we are clearly creatures of a water rich origin. This heritage comes back to bite us, however, when we have to go without an adequate water supply. Since the human body is constantly losing water to its environment and through metabolic processes, we are in need of frequent “refueling.” And, when that’s not available, the body takes action to start saving water. Urine becomes darker and more concentrated, and the output diminishes (sometimes greatly).
Our blood thickens and our waste becomes harder and drier. This all comes at a price. Dehydration causes headaches, a lack of strength and energy, constipation, cramps and a host of other symptoms. But this “water saver” mode of operation can save you from death by dehydration. The best way to keep track of your hydration level is to keep track of your water intake and urine output. You should be taking in more than 2 quarts a day, and urinating at least a quart and…